Haifa on a sunny day. Moshe is a crumbling man walking up the Carmel Mountain on yet another work day. Will this day mark his collapse? Uri walks down the mountain to board a ship and leave behind all the things he loves and despises. His sense of belonging is losing ground. He is likely to miss his military reserve service-call, thus risking jail. Will the two collide or pass through one another? An existential comedy, where the overbearing mountain with its endless stairs takes control over destinies in this unique panorama of the Mediterranean port city.
EZ Films & Spiro Films present:
Afterthought ( L’Esprit de l’escalier )
By Elad Keidan ( Israel – France 2015 )
• Cannes Film Festival 2015 – Official Selection – Special Screening
• Ophir Awards 2015 [ Best Script, Best Soundtrack, Best Editing ]
• Haifa International Film Festival 2015 [ Best Film ]
Elad Keidan is an Israeli film maker, writer and director. A graduate of the Sam Spiegel film school in Jerusalem, Elad continues to study arts and film at the Tel-Aviv University. In addition to making films his experience includes TV work, academic writing and teaching. His short films were screened worldwide, amongst them ANTHEM which won the Cinéfondation at Cannes 2008, a unique accomplishment for an Israeli short film. L’ESPRIT DE L’ESCALIER is his first feature. Born in Haifa, Elad is a father of two.
Walking is a big part of my life, giving me a sense of freedom. Born in Haifa, I’ve often walked up and down Mount Carmel and I’ve always wanted to tell a story that would encompass the whole city, top-to-bottom. From the old lower parts through layers of socialism in the middle and up to capitalist squeaking efforts at the peak, all inter-connected by dozens of public staircases. Another part of this exploration was the textural quality of human surroundings, exploding with meaning and stories while at the same time lonely and dull. It was Heraclitus who said: ‘The most beautiful world is like a heap of rubble tossed down in confusion’. For me it sounds like Heraclitus was living in modern Israel where the urge to build and run over previous histories turns reality into, well, a heap of rubble.
My hometown of Haifa was a very distinct socialist city with modernist style tenement housing, naïve folk dancing and an unusual quota of nature allotted for the blue collar workers and their neighborhoods. One day the Berlin Wall fell. And strangely, even though we were part of the ‘West’, change came. Cooked up and watered down American dreams for second rate nations were quickly taking over what was the social bedrock of our identity. Shopping centers, cable TV, tower housing sprouting everywhere. It happened very naturally. Our parents themselves were already cynical about social ideas, increasingly sanctifying personal gain and individual interests. The old mountain side of Haifa was a barometer of the old value system turning hollow. It’s like a dried up lizard from a different geological age. Capturing it before it’s lost forever was also one of my aims.
The dream to emigrate is a mutual dream of many in conflict ridden areas. Uri, my young protagonist, a hazy poet and thinker, is on his way to flee the country. He’s evading military reserve service, cutting all strings behind him. His story identifies that ephemeral thing which makes us belong to a place. Contrary to Uri, who always seems to have the last retort, my second protagonist, Moshe, is a crumbling man who starts his day only to find his life flipping upside down. His story will lead him to be at a loss for words but perhaps also grant him a new hope. With their stories I’ve examined subjects such as loyalty, betrayal and human bondage. In a way, my protagonists are an allegory of the country I live in – unable to choose a path, even though the ground keeps rolling under its feet.
Tiran is one of the most acclaimed Israeli actors of his day.
His performances have gained him numerous awards and nominations in Israeli film and theater.
Uri Klauzner is a well known Israeli actor and director;
He played leading roles in many films as well as TV series.
When not acting Klauzner also leads camera workshops for young actors.
Clips from the film:
Clip N°1: https://vimeo.com/125232500
Clip N°2: https://vimeo.com/125231356
Clip N°4: https://vimeo.com/125142909
Clip N°5: https://vimeo.com/125142910
Cast – Itay Tiran, Uri Klauzner / D.O.P. – Yaron Scharf / Editing – Arik Lahav-Leibovitch / Sound – Aviv Aldema, Vitaliy Grinshpun, Jean-Yves Rousseaux / Original music – Thierry Caroubi / Art director – Dina Kornveits / Costumes – Keren Eyal-Melamed / Makeup – Or Sapir / 1st assistant director – Adin Weiner / Casting – Emmanuelle Mayer / Line producer – Sol Goodman / Co-producers – Sylvain Fage, Jean-Yves Rousseaux, David Danesi / Producers – Elie Meirovitz, Eitan Mansuri, Danny Goldberg, Jonathan Doweck.
With the support of: Israel Film Fund / Small and Medium Business Agency, Ministry of Economy / La Fondation Gan pour le Cinéma / YES TV / Mifal Hapais. In co-production with: Digital District / Cinéphase.
ISRAEL / FRANCE – 2015 – Color – 4/3 – 1h45 – DCP – 5.1